Part of the process of flushing out the guilt is knowing yourself and setting yourself up for success.
Step 1 – Review your schedule. Take a look at your schedule and be realistic. When could you potentially do your meditation, yoga workout, or a walk to get coffee with the dog? There is a theme here about personal time connected to exercise, because it’s often something that quickly falls off the radar when we get busy. Be realistic though, can you really squeeze in a trip to the gym and groceries in 1 ½ hours.
Step 2 – Communicate and Plan. As I mentioned in my post last week, communication is vital with your partner; you need to let them know, because if they are going out of town it might mean you are running on the spot in the family room with the kids hanging off you instead of heading to the gym. When you talk with your partner, express your desire and be curious; maybe they have something they want to do as well, and maybe you can inspire each other! Really feel deserving of this time to yourself.
Step 3 – Set some Boundaries. Here is where it can be a little challenging with guilt. For instance, you have decided that you are going to make it to the hot yoga class for 4:30 straight from work, you need to be home by 6:00 to eat and get the kids organized for swimming. But at 3:00 you see the potential to push through a project you have been procrastinating on instead of heading to yoga. Remember not to disappoint yourself if you find yourself in this scenario – you deserve time away from work. I always wonder why it’s so easy for us to say no to ourselves. When you make a plan, stick to it.
Step 4 – Don’t sabotage. Once you have reviewed and planned and set some boundaries, follow though. Many of us who balance kids and activities along with some form of work often find it easier not to spend time on ourselves. For example, we stay up late and then sleep through the 6:00 am alarm and then beat ourselves up all day for not sticking to the plan. Set a bedtime routine and follow it.
Step 5 – Stay Focused. When I go to my dance class, it’s 75 minutes of focus and not thinking about anything else. Sometimes when guilt creeps up on us, we feel like we should have been doing something else, instead of what we are presently doing. And as a result, we are not focused or present. And in the end, we cannot really enjoy what we are doing, because we are not really there. Sometimes that means releasing the worry that you won’t be tucking the kids in, or see them straight after school. Take a breath, it’s okay to let your partner or a grandparent or neighbour take over and know they will be just fine without you.
Being the best version of you is important. When you have time to focus on doing something for yourself, you will be in a better space to nurture everyone around you. If you have children, you are modelling this behaviour for them. You may not think they are paying attention, but they are and for them to see you take time for yourself is fantastic.
Thanks for reading our blog. For me personally, I like to get things off my list first thing in the morning.
Is the guilt still lingering? – Join us next week for more tips on setting boundaries and saying no.